Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in the American South were freed, and Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. in Millinocket, Maine decided to honor this occasion by posting a racist message on its door. The company has since received massive backlash and will likely lose many customers as a result of its offensive sign.

The insurance company’s sign reads, “Juneteenth. It’s whatever. We’re closed. Enjoy your fried chicken and collard greens.”

A resident saw the offensive statement and took a photo of it to share on Facebook with friends and followers. When individuals started seeing what the insurance firm had written about its new federal holiday business closure, they were outraged and shocked. People were perplexed as to why this white-owned company was putting up blatantly racist postings on their storefront.

After the sign went viral on Facebook, customers began leaving their comments on the insurance firm’s Yelp page. The business has received so many one-star evaluations that it is highly unlikely to obtain any new clients for a long time – especially from those who object to racist notions.

Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. was an affiliate of Progressive Insurance but has since been terminated because of a racist sign that was posted in the window.

Employee Melanie Higgins is to blame for the racists Juneteenth sign. She informed a local Maine newspaper that she was the one who created it. Despite her claim that she wasn’t attempting to be racist – only “sarcastic” – she couldn’t defend herself against the barrage of critics.

“It says they offer umbrella insurance. I think they’re going to need a bigger umbrella,” one person commented on the post.

The racist sign quickly garnered attention online, and in response, Steve Golieb, chair of the Millinocket Town Council released a statement. In it, he not only denounces Higgins’s sign but also puts blame on the local insurance company for permitting such a hateful message to be displayed. In other words, evidence that there are those who will use any platform possible – even one as wholesome as “insurance” – to further their divisive agenda.

“It is deeply saddening, disgraceful, and unacceptable for any person, business, or organization to attempt to make light of Juneteenth and what it represents for millions of slaves and their living descendants,” said Golieb, “There is no place in the Town of Millinocket for such a blatant disregard of human decency.”

A Progressive Insurance representative also condemned Maine’s insurance firm for displaying the offensive sign on its storefront.

“We’re aware and appalled by the sign recently posted at the Harry E Reed Agency and are terminating our relationship with the agency,” said the spokesman Jeff Sibel. “The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn’t align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.”

Meanwhile, Higgins states emphatically that she is not racist.

“I am not a racist person whatsoever,” Higgins stated. “I am truly, truly, sorry that it even remotely came out that way.”